Food and Wine 101: Whites

by Taryn Lachter

Some people are just a "red drinker" or just a "white drinker" but we love all wine children equally.

It’s important to love the white wines for who they are and to bring out their best qualities while you enjoy them.

So let’s talk about the guidelines for pairing white wines with food.

Some people are just a “red drinker” or just a “white drinker” but we love all wine children equally. It’s important to love the white wines for who they are and to bring out their best qualities while you enjoy them. So let’s talk about the guidelines for pairing white wines with food.

White wine is not a friend to red meat. Pair it with white meat and fish.

We don’t say this to be mean but a white wine is just not a match for red meat, as a general rule. The gamey, earthy, fatty natures of red meat require an acidity and tannic quality that white wines do not possess – it’s not their fault. However, fish is greatly complemented by a robust white, as is poultry like duck or fish. Remember, we don’t want one to overpower the other, everyone gets their time to shine. 

Sweet whites are great for spicy meals.

When matching high levels of heat and spice, you want flavors that will help tamper it down but not erase it completely. Conversely, you don’t want a wine that will make the heat even sharper or more bitter, which is why a sweeter wine is best. Think late harvest Riesling or a Gruner Veltliner to accommodate that heat without reducing the flavors.

Think crisp and dry for pairing with most vegetables.

Vegetables, by nature, are going to give you herbal, floral, and earthy notes, so you want your wine to match them. They also aren’t the most robust in aggressive flavors so you want the wine to be subtle but complementary. This is when the middle ground of light to full bodied is your home – Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, steel-aged Chardonnay – these will all be great pals to your roasted veggies.

Creamy foods go best with a more acidic wine.

We’re mostly referring to cheese here but this is also applicable to dishes with a lot of dairy. A creamy goat cheese or melty brie will want something acidic to cut through the fat, not add to it. It’ll almost be like a palate cleanser with each bite so that you get that delightful “first bite” over and over again of your favorite cheese. Looking at you, Chenin Blanc.

Fragrant herbs are besties with light white wines.

Consider the herbs you like to keep in their whole form – basil, dill, mint – these are what you’re really pairing with the wine. So you want something that will complement them well but they’re quite subtle so you don’t want to overwhelm the leafy little herbs. Riesling and Pinot Grigio are friends here. They’re light and fruity but gentle and delicious.

As with all pairings, anyone in your local wine shop can help you pair specifically to the dish you’re making. Just walk on in and ask for the best recommendations!



FEATURED EVENTS

Crush Wine Experiences

October 23, 2021

A once-in-a-lifetime experience

Piedmont Italy: Barolo and Barbaresco tour

Oct 23 – 30, 2021
6 nights, 7 days
Milan, Barolo, Alba, and Turin

RESERVE NOW
Crush Wine Experiences

September 23, 2020

Live Online Zoom Broadcast

Kotti Berliner – Food & Wine Pairing

Join us for a Virtual Food & Wine Pairing with Brooklyn’s Kotti Berliner. Explore delicious döner kebabs paired with wine. Meet Kotti founder, Erkan Emre.

RSVP FOR FREE
Crush Wine Experiences

September 16, 2020

Live Online Zoom Broadcast

Broadbent Selections – Portugal

Join us for a Virtual Tasting with one of America’s leading importers of high-quality Portuguese wines.

RSVP FOR FREE
Crush Wine Experiences

September 2, 2020

Live Online Zoom Broadcast

Cusumano Winery – Sicily, Italy

Join us for a Virtual Tasting with the maker of the #1 selling Sicilian wine in the U.S.

RSVP FOR FREE
Crush Wine Experiences

August 26, 2020

Live Online Zoom Broadcast

Kunde Family Winery

Join us for a Virtual Tasting. The Kunde family has farmed an 1,850-acre estate in Sonoma Valley for 100 years.

RSVP FOR FREE
Crush Wine Experiences

August 19, 2020

Live Online Zoom Broadcast

LangeTwins Family Winery and Vineyards

Join us for a Virtual Tasting. Great wine starts in the vineyard.

RSVP FOR FREE
Crush Wine Experiences

August 12, 2020

Live Online Zoom Broadcast

Dutcher Crossing Winery

Join us for a Virtual Tasting. Distinctive and hand-crafted wines produced from award-winning vineyards.

RSVP FOR FREE
Crush Wine Experiences

June 12, 2020

At Your Home

RGNY At-Home Blending Session

Be your own winemaker for a day — guided by a professional on Zoom video!

PURCHASE KIT & ZOOM TICKET
Crush Wine Experiences

May 29, 2020

Live Online Zoom Broadcast

Virtual Wine & Pizza Tasting with Jamesport Vineyards

What’s better than great wine and artisanal pizza?

RSVP FOR FREE
Crush Wine Experiences

May 28, 2020

Live Online Zoom Broadcast

Foxen Winery & Vineyard Virtual Tasting

Experience the magic of Santa Barbara wine.

RSVP FOR FREE
Crush Wine Experiences

May 28, 2020

Live Online Zoom Broadcast

Foxen Winery & Vineyard Virtual Tasting

Experience the magic of Santa Barbara wine.

RSVP FOR FREE
Crush Wine Experiences

May 21, 2020

Live Online Zoom Broadcast

Chateau Montelena Winery Virtual Tasting

This tasting will be epic.

RSVP FOR FREE
Crush Wine Experiences

May 19, 2020

Live Online Zoom Broadcast

Ridge Vineyards Virtual Tasting – Monte Bello winery

The New York Times described Ridge Monte Bello as “America’s greatest Cabernet Sauvignon.”

RSVP FOR FREE
Crush Wine Experiences

May 18, 2020

Live Online Zoom Broadcast

Tenuta di Lilliano Virtual Tasting

Very special tasting. Don’t miss it!

RSVP FOR FREE
Crush Wine Experiences

May 15, 2020

Live Online Zoom Broadcast

Pedroncelli Winery Virtual Tasting

Four Generations of Family Pride at Pedroncelli Winery, since 1927

RSVP FOR FREE
Crush Wine Experiences

May 14, 2020

Live Online Zoom Broadcast

Provence Rosé Group Virtual Tasting

The best rosé in the world comes from Provence.

RSVP FOR FREE
Crush Wine Experiences

May 13, 2020

Live Online Zoom Broadcast

St. Francis Winery Virtual Tasting

Voted “#1 in America” in 2013 and 2015 by Open Table customers.

RSVP FOR FREE
Crush Wine Experiences

May 12, 2020

Live Online Zoom Broadcast

Ridge Vineyards Virtual Tasting – Lytton Springs

The New York Times described Ridge’s Cabernet Sauvignon as America’s greatest.

RSVP FOR FREE
Crush Wine Experiences

May 11, 2020

Live Online Zoom Broadcast

Oak Farm Vineyards Virtual Tasting

Visit the famous wine-growing region of Lodi County, California – virtually!

RSVP FOR FREE
Crush Wine Experiences

May 8, 2020

Live Online Zoom Broadcast

Goldschmidt Vineyards Virtual Tasting

Visit Sonoma County – virtually!

RSVP FOR FREE
Crush Wine Experiences

April 18, 2020

Marlboro, NY

Wines & Bites!

Hudson Valley’s yummiest wine and food tasting event

GET TICKETS
Crush Wine Experiences

March 7, 2020

New York’s Premier Winter Wine Event

NYC Winter Wine and Food Festival

Enjoy a winter getaway without even leaving the city.

GET TICKETS
Crush Wine Experiences

January 19, 2020

Riverhead, NY

RG|NY Blending Session

Join RG|NY winemaker Lilia Perez, for a unique tasting and blending session.

PURCHASE TICKETS
Crush Wine Experiences

December 14, 2019

Ulster & Orange Counties, NY

Wreath Fineries at the Wineries

Don’t miss the ultimate holiday wine tasting event in the Hudson Valley. Sales end Thursday, Dec 12 at 11:59pm!

PURCHASE TICKETS
Crush Wine Experiences

November 14, 2019

New York, NY

Around The World In 10 Wines

Experience a global tasting in 2 hours with award-winning artisan cheese and charcuterie

PURCHASE TICKETS

RELATED WINE BLOGS

autumn wines

Tuesday, October 4th, 2022

5 Autumn Wines Perfect for Cooler Weather
Fall is a festive season. And as the temperature drops, our thoughts inevitably turn to thick sweaters, blazing fires, and myriad of foods and spices, plus of course, those autumn wines. In addition to universal favorites that are uniquely food-friendly, like Pinot Noir, we think of the bigger, bolder, more complex wines like the proverbial - Read More
Read more...
new world wine

Friday, September 30th, 2022

New World Wine vs. Old World Wine: Global Winemakers are Changing Wine Markets
As the budding wine connoisseur that you are, you may have heard the terms, “Old World,” and “New World” wines. Old World wines refer to wines that come from traditional winemaking countries. These are countries in Europe and parts of the Middle East like France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Greece, and Germany. New World wines come - Read More
Read more...
low abv

Wednesday, September 28th, 2022

Low Alcohol, High Flavor: Low ABV Beverages You’ll Love to Drink
Whether you’re trying to cut back on your alcohol consumption or you know you have a long night of bar hopping ahead of you, it helps to know what’s available to help keep your alcohol intake low. What’s more, you don’t have to sacrifice flavor to do it! By choosing drinks with low alcohol by - Read More
Read more...
LOAD MORE